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The Eight

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Amarant Coral’s death was a hushed thing, like how night fell once the sun left, like the flicker of a knife in a dark alleyway. In a way, it fit him—even in life, there was no room in him for the grandiose celebration of existence.

So he died in his sleep—or rather, some bastard got lucky to get really close to him and slit his throat. Lani had found him, pulse gone and his blood darkening the sheets. The moogles led her to the bastard who did it and she paid in kind, cutting the guy’s head off.

He was a kid, a year shy of eighteen, and so green around the edges that his knifework was shoddy and the only reason why Amarant hadn’t gone for his jugular first was the fact that the kid had dosed him with enough sleeping weed to even paralyze a zaghnol.

There wasn’t a funeral, not even for a celebrated war hero such as him. They had buried him outside of Madain Sari, with a small gravestone as the only marker. There was only his name inscribed, and the year of his death.

Not many people visited his grave. Lani visited regularly, sometimes with a small boy with dark red hair and blue skin; sometimes with a smaller brown-skinned girl. Queen Garnet of Alexandria made a few visits, too, along with her friends and retinue. The number of visitors grew less and less as the years passed, as his name started to fade from his gravestone.

The moogles in Madain Sari often tried to keep the grave clean and well-maintained. Perhaps, in remembrance of the fallen hero. But time moved on, and Amarant Coral’s grave was just a stone marker and a name.